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Everything starts with a simple question: "Hey Rémy, how do you use your e-Genius?"
"I use it for exploring, building and even training." From an EWS rider and 12 time Mega Avalanche champion this was an interesting answer. A few weeks later, Rémy was showing us his backyard on his e-Genius and how he really uses it as part of his training routine. Rémy lives in les Vosges, in the North East of France, one of best regions for enduro riding in Central Europe. The mountains there are about 800m in altitude so there is almost no snow in the winter and steep, technical, loamy trails can be found everywhere. It sounds like the perfect place to train for a full EWS season but quickly we realize that if we want to ride more than 2 runs in a day we will need either shuttles or an E-Bike. This is how Rémy makes his point, “I can ride twice as much on my e-Genius in the same amount of time, with the same heart rate intensity and this straight from my place.”
When Rémy told us that he has now an E-Bike loop which allows him to work on his fitness and his technical skills, we were intrigued. He told us that the uphills are so steep that it’s almost impossible to clear them on a normal bike – so we went straight to the spot to check it out. He didn’t lie- we found a climb covered with wet and shiny roots combined with slippery rocks that were just in the right places. “This is much more fun than climbing on a fire road.” It was impressive to see him having fun while struggling with the elements.
"I love the turbo mode but when it's super technical you have to play with the assistance modes, downgrade to Trail mode and keep a good cadence to keep your speed. When you do 500meters of elevation like that, then you tackle the downhill and right after you start another climb this is the best feeling."
Going into Rémy’s garage is like dropping a kid into a candy shop, first you don’t know which one (bike) to take and then you want to take them all. From the dirt jump bike to the enduro motorbike you can find everything and none of his bikes have dust on their saddles. During the racing season he spends most of his time on the Genius but winter is the perfect season for a bit of variety. “In winter riding with the E-Bike is a good mix between everything, even when it’s muddy I can still climb everywhere and now with the geometry of the new e-Genius there is almost no difference when I’m going down.”
Last year with his weekend competitors and weekly friends, Rémy went to Damien Oton’s home for the “Catalan Enduro” and decided to take part in the race with the E-Bike, “At the beginning that was more to chill in the liaisons as it was the last race of the season but quickly I noticed that the weight of the bike was not an issue at all and I had the possibility to be up there in the stages.” Rémy finished 3rd, only a few seconds behind Theo Galy and Jerome Clementz.
For the anecdote, he showed us the results of his cardio frequency meter recorded during the race and as the ranking of the weekend these numbers are really close from those of normal bikes with an average rate of 140bmp and some peaks at 186bmp.
Rémy Absalon's Tips for training like a pro with an E-Bike:
Find a tour around 1h30 or 25km
Skip the fire roads as much as possible and replace them by trails
The goal is to avoid fast open trails where you reach the 25km/h assistance limit quite quickly but instead find steep, challenging and technical liaisons
Each time the challenge is to climb without putting a foot on the ground. If it's too easy, look for an alternative that is a bit more difficult.
For the downs, its the same as a non-E-bike, the e-Genius can handle everything
No stops between the uphill and the downhill, this is the key for enduro training. In enduro racing the difficult part is after 3 minutes of downhill, you start to be tired and then you start to do mistakes, lose seconds and start risking more crashes. By doing steep and technical uphill and downhill you can improve your skills to handle your bike after those 3 minutes. With a normal bike you do 15 minute intervals, with the E-Bike, 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Record your rides and see the progress
Rémy is using an e-Genius 700 Tuned. The bike has 150mm of travel front and rear. Both of the fork and the shock are controlled with the TwinLoc Suspension System which through a simple push on the lever changes the geometry of the bike, raising the bottom bracket by 5mm. Additionally, damping and spring curve are changed in the fork and shock, reducing travel to 100mm. The geometry change is really valuable on an E-Bike as you are sometimes pedaling on technical uphill sections where it's a real advantage to have better stability with less travel and a higher BB to avoid any contact with the ground. The e-Genius offers the possibility to ride either with 29" or 27.5'' wheels. Rémy is most of the time riding with 27.5'' wheels mounted with 2.8 tires with 1.5bar of pressure on the back and 1.3 on the front. For racing he uses 2.6 tires to reduce rolling resistance. Regarding his cockpit he handles his SCOTT e-Genius with 780mm bar and a 40mm stem. Rémy likes to ride with stiff bikes and this is as well the case on his E-Bike with 190psi in the rear shock (for 75kg). The drive unit is a Shimano Steps E8000 with a 500wh battery, same as the stock version. Rémy uses a Shimano XTR Di2 drive train which allows him to manage both the assistance modes and the gears from the Di2 display.